In one Jewish family, the forename Israel is handed down from generation to generation. But as parts of the family move across the world - beginning in Lithuania at the end of the 19th century and finishing in London at the beginning of the 21st - different Israels in different countries have very different relationships with the name and the weighty expectation it represents. In Dunsk, living under the hovering fear of Russian pogroms, Israel's parents have great hopes for him as a scholar and rabbi. In the rag-trade sweatshops of turn-of-the-century Leeds, Israel finds advancement is earned in more secular ways. In the harsh open lands of South Africa, Israel struggles between the practicalities of business life and supporting the utopia of a Jewish homeland; during World War Two the schoolboy Israel Dunsky becomes Jack Dunn. And after the war, as Jack becomes a captain of industry, the name that was repressed gains an even greater resonance. These different Israels are at the heart of this book. Bold in conception and brilliant in execution, THE BOOK OF ISRAEL brings the everyday to the centre of the 20th century Jewish story. Both heartfelt and comic, the range of voices is perfectly rendered, and the characters, whilst completely individual, brilliantly conveys the collective deracination of the Jewish people over the last century.